Friday, April 14, 2006


Ok, this whole Reservation thing has been playing in my mind for quite a while now. Well, like most of the times, I am quite confused. It is such an vast topic with so many complexities that it is difficult for me to primarily have a stand.

The first thing that I am absolutely boggled about it, why is there a need to increase the quota levels in the institutions? Aren't the existing levels of quota sufficient? The main reason why reservations were introduced was to integrate the backward classes of the society with the mainstream society. Over a passge of time, Reservations were supposed to be written off. However, rather than achieving the set goal, what's the purpose in increasing the quota levels? Beats me completely.

To a certain extent, I do support reservations since I have seen the caste discrimination upclose. I understand how deep caste prejudices are. I had visited the tsunami affected villages for a month in tamil Nadu. Even a natural disaster like Tsunami couldn't break the traditional caste barriers. It was disgusting. Despite losing everything in the Tsunami, caste discrimination did not go away. Dalits did not get relief because they were Dalits even post- Tsunami. When a natural disaster like Tsunami cannot break caste prejudices nothing can. I understand that. However increasing reservation levels is definitely overdoing it. Since over the course of time, the level of reservations have to decrease.

Of course, I definitely agree with the unfairness of it. I have seen students from the 'general category' going into depression because they couldn't get through a particular college but students who have scored much less than them, have gotten through easily. Trust me, it hurts, it hurts real bad. It is absolutely unfair on the child.

Let us first look into why the reservations were brought about in the first place. Reservations were a tool through which Dalits and other backward classes of the society could be assimilated in the mainstream. This link can provide for good reference.

We have reservations for the past 50 years, have we achieved what we have set out to achieve? No, absolutely not. Coz caste discriminations run high. But then why hasn't the set goal been achieved? Reservations was means to achieve an end. However, over the years, it has become a means to an end. This is like having painkillers in case of arthrities rather than opting for a full fledged treatment. Improving state of primary education, improving state of central govt schools, state, municipal schools is the key and not increasing the level in reservations wherein the government is just committing another error in a bid to rectify it's earlier error.

Politicians are to be blamed for it {nothing new to it} Therefore, if the goal hasn't been achieved, then there is a fundamental flaw in the system and it needs a rethink.

In the end, I still think it all boils down to an apathetic, under-performing State. If we had created an efficient and equal government school model, like the neighbourhood schools in the West, this entire debate may well have been irrelevant. Sure, the super-rich kids would have still gone to snotty private schools, but at least everyone else would have studied with some sense of parity and quality. Right now more than 60 students compete for a single IIT seat. Isn’t it our right to demand more premier engineering institutes rather than this mad scramble for a handful of seats, made yet more acrimonious by the politics of reservation?

says Barkha Dutt

Are there any alternatives to reservations? Is there any other way reservations can be implemented? other than strengthening the primary education system in the country, I cannot think of any thing else. What was the government doing for 50 long years? It is not that we don't have reservations. Why have more reservations is what I am confused about.

Economic backwardness can be a benchmark for reservation. However here to scholarships could be introduced for the students. See, reservations were introduced since the social environment for super academic performance would not be similar to the privileged and the under-privileged. Instead of improving the infrastructure, the Government is proposing is trying to increase the quota levels. What utter nonsense.....

It is so frustrating for someone like me to live in this country wherein caste equations are so dominant. I don't care a shit about caste or relegion. However, people like me are in absolute minority which is why we see such caste equations permeating in all sectors. Ok, even though I don't care about my caste, I am being made to realise, oh, I am from the general category. Even if I don't wanna remember it, the system makes sure that I am reminded of it everyday.

Lot of people have been saying that 95 per cent scoring ppl from general category can easily co exist with ppl scoring 65 per cent of a reserved category. No problems with that. However, I don't understand why a 65 per cent scoring person from the general category cannot be included in the list. Is everyone from the General category necessarily required to be academically brilliant everytime.....everyone, always as a rule? How can it be possible? it is so unfair. Where is the space for academically mediocre people from the general category then?

However, having seen the caste prejudices myself, I feel there should be some solution to help the genuinely deserving candidates from the backward classes to come up but not at the expense of the general category students. coz I know so many of the general category students who are economically backward and cannot afford the cost of education since there is no help for them. Where do such students go? Don't they have a right to survive in the society. How can we just assume that all the general category students are well off? Assuming that, economically backward students from general category are in a minority than the other backward classes in totality, doesn it mean, it's ok for the minority to suffer, just coz they are minority? Doesn't it seem contradictory?

Trivia: It is interesting how the caste system functions in this country. Like OBCs consider themselves to be upper caste in comparison to Dalits. There are 150 sub castes amongst Dalits themselves if I am not mistaken and they also practise discrimination amongst themselves. It's funny. It's sad.

Ideally I wouldn't prefer reservations. However, given the current scheme of things, I am not completely against the currently prevalent reservations. However, I am completely against increasing the quota levels since it is ridiculous and is no solution to the problem.


Divya said...

i think that having reservations for professional courses and for any sort of skilled job is not done. merit has to be the overwhelming criteria. any reservation is a compromise on quality.

Alex said...

Its sheer madness! No two ways about it!

But then who is to stop it!

Vote bank mathematics would clearly indicate that the numbers are against those against reservation! How many political leaders would stick out their necks to stand against the issue!

I am for upliftment of the oppressed classes but surely there has to be some rationale for it!

camelpost said...

I challenge the concerned jokers to go ahead with 50% Reservation for not only students but also for teaching staff. Its better that Government builds one more IIT and IIM and call them RIIT and RIIM (R stands for you know what) and let others live in peace and maintain their standards. RIIT and RIIM may be put under AICTE for added glory. It will be wiser for the government to offer the best of education from primary education and make them face the world rather than give them feel of artificial security by reservation.

Naam Arjun Raknewala sab Yudh nahi jeeet saktein
aur IIT IIM koi Kurushetra bi nahi hein
Na is Arjun ke paas koi Krishn bhi hai
Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya Sathuskratham
Dharma samsdha banarthaya sambavami yuge yuge
Tora Tora Tora

camelpost said...

The Choice is Clear:

The terminology to refer handicapped persons have been changed to Physically challenged persons. Why cannot the SC ST BC OBC XYZ be called Economically challenged persons. That will atleast give an apparent feeling of casteless society. The other suggestion is categorize society into BPL and APL meaning Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line and tax the APL to pay for BPL. There are thousand intelligent ways of addressing the problem and one idiotic way i.e reservation based on caste lines.

kpowerinfinity said...

Just a couple of observations:
* In a lot of cases, the students who enter through reservation quotas are actually quite well off. In fact, a few of them could be among the richest in the campus. And thanks to quotas and SC/ST privileges, they don't even pay their tuition. And most people who would be availing of the privileges they have been given due to their backward status hardly know about their rights. It is just a handful who keep using the quotas - the vast majority hardly know about it.
* At the same time, there are these hundreds of thousands of very poor people from the upper castes who never get out of their sorry state. Reservations is definitely a noble cause - but why not have it on the basis of economic status?
* If reservations are imposed and student quality at IITs and IIMs suffers, it is the nation who would suffer. These institutions are ultimately hallowed due to the student quality - and if that goes down, they would fall like a pack of cards.
* Reservations have become more of a political tool than an economic tool. The upliftment of the poor, bringing the downtrodden up to speed with the fast changing society mere exist as 'idealistic' writing, I don't think that hardly makes a difference to the people who want more of reservation. I am amazed to see the brain of our honourable education minister's mind suddenly grew fertile as he woke up from his slumber of all these months just before elections.

camelpost said...

IITs and IIMs will remain Institutions of the government by the government and for the government. One day MHRD may passa resolution stating that each MP is entitled for an IIT or IIM seat as the MPs are serving the nation. On the contrary take the case of BITS Pilani. In the year 2000, BITS Pilani put up a campus at DUBAI. In the year 2004, BITS Pilani commissioned a campus at Goa. In the year 2007 BITS Pilani is spearheading a campus at Hyderabad. Name one IITor IIM which broke the governmental shell and did something like BITS Pilani could do. Every one knows the famous IIM and IIT wanting to set up a Sing apore Campus. Well the song was over long back. We are left only with the National Anthem.

loky said...

Interesting post. You may like to take a look, if not already, at:

suchi said...

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clash said...

The upper middle class mediocrity always spews incoherent words and that shows in almost all the comments here. Making RIIT and things so forth. Those kind of mediocrity is indispensable in blog-dom because hardly any blogs or comments will be written by a dalit or he would have been tortured his whole existence on this planet, that it is the most disgusting thing ever to reveal- he is a Dalit.
Eons of terrible sufferings has almost waxed their mouth to shout out their needs. If they do we have our culture-vultures, who predominantly belong to this middle class and OBC's who have the right to chop of their arms and squeeze their eyes even stone them to death.
Claims will be; not all these occur in our "shining India". Its just coz, the so-called fourth estate or media comprehensively falters at capturing the essence of Indian life. They have the sensex sky rocketing and wardrobe malfunction!

Its has been only 50 years of "reservations". Does it count for 1000's of years oppression? If some one is loosing out his precious seat due to reservation, just keep in mind, he has not paid his due for all those oppression and repression, which is continuing.

I dint see all these Brouhaha when a dalit was stoned in haryana? I pity these eye-glistened neo-rich in India. Phew!!

Anirudh said...

I have a different take on this. I'll send you what I've written once I'm done with it. I am not commenting on this since I am not viewing this problem through the lens that most people- including you- seem to be viewing it through.

camelpost said...

AICTE Punched by Court Orders

The Madras High Court, in an interim direction relating to the regulatory jurisdiction of the AICTE and the UGC over deemed universities, has instructed the former to issue a public notice advising students to attend classes.

Reserving its final order, a bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Prabha Sridevan said the AICTE in its advertisement should mention that students must return to their colleges, since failure to attend classes would result in their losing an academic year.

It must be published in English and Indian language newspapers, the judges said.

The bench indicated that orders would be pronounced in the third week of May and observed that all deemed universities must take prior permission from the UGC before starting new courses.

The AICTE could be part of the inspection team mandated to visit deemed universities, the judges added.

wormtongue said...

@ clash.. 50 years of reservations might not make up for a thousand years of oppression... but shouldnt empowering the weak and not spoon feeding them be the way to go?

tabs said...

Quality education at school for people of all castes is necessary.
These reservations are at times utilized by people of higher castes with the help of fake documents.
I think reservations should be made for people who cannot afford education. Getting into med school is not everything, med school expenses can be pretty costly even for a middle class student. Sometimes people who avail such reservations are not the ones who cannot afford higher education.

Aditi said...

keep reservation 100 % for them .. make a saperate school specially for them..keep the eduacation level same like exams and watch

thelonelyfurrow said...

I think Aditi and I are thinking on the same lines

Let us start a revolution. Let there be 100% Reservations! Let there be a new parallel education / job system, where the students / workers, management and even the friggin sweepers are appointed with reservations. And let there be 0% reservations in all the other institutions.

The time the OBC etc is born, he will have a certain admission into the reservation education system. He can study till whatever time he wants to. The teachers too are 100% from the reservation cadre. The reservation student after completion of his studies, will have an assured job in the Government. After all, didn't Nehru say that another purpose of the Public Sector was to generate employment?

Mad Max said...

what does reservation achieve...nothin...while i understand reservation for the "economically" backward i dont understand the reservation system for "caste" based classification...talking about disincentives for hard working individuals...many why should the economically weak students work 1000 times harder to get a merit seat as compared to someone from the backward community who is well off and hardly needs to work...huh looks like the learned pundits who framed this rule have no sense of how to achieve social welfare....

camelpost said...

I found this poem of BR Natarajan BITS Pilani thought provoking: Hope you also like it.

Future Shock for India

Wisdomless Politicians
Meritless Admissions

Meaningless Curriculums
Substance less Examinations

Faculty less Departments
Student less Colleges

VC less Universities
Knowledgeless Society

Developmentless Nation
Into that hell of gloomdom

My Father,
Let my country go to Sleep
Let my country go to Sleep.....